Gratitude brings abundance. When we are thankful for what we have, we are given more of what we are grateful for. Simple… but true. When we teach and model gratitude to our children it can help them find greater happiness in life. New research shows that children may be understanding what is important about gratitude based on their parents’ behaviors. These behavioral messages may in turn shape how children show gratitude.
Just saying “Thank You” is not always enough for children to gain a full understanding. Finding ways to help them more deeply notice what they have received is an important place to start. Helping them make sense of those gifts, through their thoughts and feelings, may be key to experiences of gratitude. Here are some questions you might ask your child:
What have you been given or what do you already have in your life for which you are grateful? Are there gifts behind the material gifts for which you are grateful, like someone thinking about you or caring about you enough to give you the gift?
Why do you think you received this gift? Do you think the gift was something the giver had to give you?
Does it make you feel happy to get this gift? These questions help the child connect their positive feeling to the gifts that they receive in their lives.
Is there a way you want to show how you feel about this gift? Does the feeling you have about this gift make you want to share that feeling by giving something to someone else?
Prompting children to express gratitude after experiences of receiving, whether they be acts of appreciation or paying it forward, may help connect their experience to the benefit of practicing gratitude as a daily mindset habit.
At Jump Into Joy at Kidzone, we love to show our gratitude. Next time you are at the gym, post a note on our Gratitude Wall to share what you are thankful for.
You can Download our FREE Starter Kit today for at-home children's activities that teach gratitude, journaling, meditation & more!
Our Jump Into Joy Workshops and Workbooks teach positive mindset habits for a lifetime of joy. Gratitude is at the root of many of our discussions and helps children discover how it truly can shift our perspective in challenging circumstances. Please join us for In-Person workshops at Kidzone (Friday afternoons), or Online through our virtual Zoom workshops (next one starts Dec. 9).